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Saquon Barkley Named Sports Illustrated’s Fittest Athlete

Another day, another accolade for Saquon Barkley.

Sports Illustrated has named the NFL Rookie of the Year candidate its most fit athlete of the year, based on performances over the last 12 months, demands and risks of the sport, durability, training regimens, and other physical criteria including power, speed, strength, agility, endurance, flexibility, and more. SI employed a panel of trainers, exercise physiologists, and performance experts to help choose the 25 men and 25 women who made the list.

The No. 1 fittest title comes six months or so after ESPN released a gallery of photos of Barkley as part of its annual Body Issue. In the accompanying feature, he discussed that his body “is a temple” and the specific ways he was able to get bigger and stronger, while also taking his speed up a notch.

Photo: ESPN The Magazine

“Being strong but also being athletic and still working on movement. That kind of just changed me, I guess,” Barkley said. “I got faster, I got more explosive, my first step got quicker, my burst got quicker, and it all just came together.”

Whatever Barkley’s workout regimen is, it’s certainly been effective. The New York Giants rookie finished the season with 2,028 yards of total offense, becoming just the third rookie in NFL history to cross the 2,000-yard mark. Barkley scored 15 total touchdowns in the process and earned a Pro Bowl bid for his effort.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa was the managing editor of Onward State from 2017-2019. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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